The MidSummer Derby is upon, and it’s time to “Paint the Canoe” for 2017. A talented group of 12 including the three Triple Crown race winners meet up with the improving Girvin and Irap.
Cloud Computing: Preakness winner drew inside. Ran on a very demanding race track on Jim Dandy and wasn’t pressured late. I have questions about him ultimately being a 10-furlong horse at the Grae 1 level. He is healthy and has the class you have to run and take your chance in the Travers Stakes. Should sit a stalking trip and hopes to get first run on the closers. Jim Dandy was a toss, Preakness a solid effort. Still lightly raced.
Giuseppe, the Great: The Pride of Nicholas P Zito, has potential to be a good older horse but would need to improve by ten lengths to be competitive in this spot. Distance, class, and pace are an issue in this race.
West Coast: This horse will take a lot of money based on factors that usually don’t factor in the betting. Bob Baffert, won in New York, Arrogate won this race last year. He appeared very talented but looked beat at the top of the stretch at Los Alamitos. Capable but most likely an underlay. Mixed feelings, could be getting in form at the right time. Another opinion is he has two easy straight trips and faces much tougher.
Tapwrit: Off the bench from the Belmont Stakes. The Belmont was the weakest of the Triple Crown races this year. Has enough speed to be in the game, but hard to imagine him winning off the shelf facing fit horses. He’s a plodder, and that running style will keep in the mix but have a feeling he gets passed by several going into the turn.
Good Samaritan: Took advantage of the Jim Dandy speed duel between Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing. He was able to save ground at the rail, then went out in the stretch and looped the field. The performance was all done late on a dead track, and the win looks a little dressed up. Is improving and is capable of winning if he gets a good set up.
Girvin: Snatched a win from the jaws of defeat in the Haskell, kept grinding along and when McCraken stopped late got the head bob. Another who fits class wise and has an excellent win record 10/1 is fair odds, but Haskell and Travers double are hard to pull off.
Always Dreaming: Your 2017 Kentucky Derby winner was victorious on a sloppy track. Then lost the Preakness after the peak performance. Then he was dueled into the ground in the Jim Dandy off four works and running 9 furlongs. Should sit in the top 3 and make his move into the turn. Best distance is 9-10 furlongs and has enough tactical speed to lay close, not sure he has the finishing kick when multiple horses may be making moves at the same time.
Lookin At Lee: Deep closer should be fit after a trip to the mountain and has the class level. Best chance is to lay at the back of the field and hope the pace collapses. He is probably just as fast as Good Samaritan at three times the price.
McCraken: No excuse in Haskell he appeared visually to have won at the 1/8th pole and then was caught by Girvin. He flattened out in the Bluegrass, flattened out in the Derby and then lost the Haskell late. Talented and proficient at 9 furlongs, but 10 furlongs is always going to be a concern. It’s time to find out where Molly put the peaches with this horse – can he run 10 furlongs or is he a Grade 2 player at 9 furlongs. All signs indicate he is training well.
Irap: Dominating win in the Indiana Derby, gritty Ohio win and beat them all in the Bluegrass. Breeding and speed figures matchup and has shown enough speed to lay in the middle of the pack. Race flow will be tough in this spot.
Gunevera: Won at Saratoga last summer and was a tired horse by Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby. Freshened up after Preakness and was dominant in Gulfstream minor stakes win. Fresh, fit and great prep win, will be overlooked and has a shot at being a big player in the tickets.
Fayeq: Great breeding and has two straight wins, goes up in class and stretches out in the distance to ten furlongs.
Pace Makes the Race:
It looks on paper that Always Dreaming is very capable of leading after the half mile pole. McCraken should be sitting on a big run going into the turn with Girvin, and Gunnevera. Race flow may favor the mid pack runners and speed.
McCraken had no excuse in the Travers, but hard to imagine this guy running a bad race. Always Dreaming and Gunnevera should sit perfect trips as well.
Play Against: Girvin and Irap.